Sunday, September 03, 2017

My life

Well I managed one post during the week. Maybe the trick is to start small. And the obvious answer to the question of where all my blogging went is “Facebook.” I think I’ve figured this out before, but everything old is new again. This week was moderately productive at work, but more productive in my personal life of tasks. I did a lot: took my car to the dealer to fix something on a recall (the hinges on the back gate of all things); brought my book to the used bookstore (FINALLY); gave away my old TV; gave away a pet carrier for my bike (I have a better solution now);  and gave away the old red sofa. Oh—and visited my friends who just had a baby! I also ordered new covers for the heating vents—only two, just to see how I liked them, but I’ll be getting a few more, though I’m really stuck on the horns of indecision about which ones to get. The bike I fixed up a few weeks ago went back to the basement (sigh)—now only two live in the house and one is the folder. Gave the other bike out on a (hopefully) permanent loan. I’ll sell it if it comes back. I did nothing about my files. Maybe I should have a bonfire.

Today I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen floor (disgusting) and lightly cleaned the walls. I also took out lots of recycling. Moved the bench I’d had in the kitchen to where the old sofa had been in the living room. That meant moving my shoes to the closet and elsewhere. I need to get rid of some shoes but I really do wear all the pairs I have at least once a month so it’s hard to pare down. I still have to get some stuff at the drug store, order cat food, take out the garbage, clean the counters in the kitchen, and clear off the dining room table. But all those tasks are sort of “regularized.” Oh, I also made a vet appointment for the cat and a dentist appointment for myself.

Last week, I also rebooked my tickets for the trip I’m taking out to California/Seattle in September. I realized that it made sense to book a longer trip after I talked to Nancy about it. Every time I talk to Dad he asks me how I like my job, if I’ll stay at it, and what do I want to do instead. He suggests that I travel. Then he asks how old I am and realizes I’m too young to retire. We’ve had this conversation every time we’ve spoken for about a year. I asked B1 if Dad asked him about retiring and he said no. When I talked to Nancy about it she said, “he wants to spend more time with you.” Duh. So I started thinking I should go out there for a full month. I already had the September trip planned (it’s to attend the a wedding of a cousin) so I checked to see if I could extend it. I checked with the airline and for $150 (the change fee) I could rebook—and actually get a credit because my new trip would be a little less expensive (but the credit will be applied to a future trip, which is total bullshit). I checked with Mom. She understood and was fine with the change. I checked with my stepmom, Susan. She thought it was a great idea. I confirmed with my boss that it was ok for me to work remotely for that long. Then I rebooked. I’ll be out in CA from Sept 14-Oct 5 and then in Seattle until Oct. 10 (hey Amanda—I’ll be in touch!).

I know this trip will be hard. I can do it. Dad needs me. Susan needs me. I’m going to do what I can.
How do I let go of the life I always had in mind for myself that’s obviously never going to happen? How do I embrace the life I have, with all it’s imperfections and joys? That’s the other thing I’m thinking about today.

Grateful for: getting stuff done.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Good morning

I’m giving this bizarre “regular blogging” thing a go. At least I am today! The weekend was pretty uneventful. I was still tired and pretty out of it so I stayed close to home. I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and then tackled the job of re-hanging some of my pictures in the living room. When I got the new TV and new furniture, I moved everything around and the art didn’t work where it was anymore. This is a job on my long-term list. I’ve been crossing things off and this was the next one. The first one I tackled was pulling my oldest bike from the basement, cleaning it up, and taking it to the shop to have a broken spoke repair. I did that a few weeks ago. That bike may be destined to go back to the basement, but at least it's rideable now. Also on the list—take the books I’m getting rid of to the used bookstore to sell and take my car to be fixed because of a recall notice. Those things are happening on Wednesday. Other things on the list:
  • Get rid of some of the shoes I don’t wear (I wear most of them occasionally, but it’s too many pairs)
  • Sort the old files I brought back from my old job. Some of those must be disposable.
  • Sort some of the junk living in my back room. I have a big organizer but it’s full of stuff I haven’t looked at in years—old cords, old maps. Some of the stuff is worth keeping but could be handled in a more “space saving” manner.

The files are the stuff of my nightmares, but they’re on the list and I will get around to them eventually. I feel a little better having the pictures mostly sorted out—I have to do some minor adjustments, but it’s more or less right. Friend Nancy came over for dinner—we went out—on Tuesday. She came back over on Saturday to help me with the pictures but we just hung out instead. Sunday, I did nothing. Well, I did some laundry. I did a lot of knitting. I did a lot of tv-watching (movies mostly). I did a lot of relaxing. I am still tired. I always feel tired. I don’t know if I’m sleeping poorly or just bored. I think I slept pretty well last night. I even decided to do the bike thing today. I carried the folder in on the train and I think I will ride all the way home. Last few times, I only rode half-way, but it was a lot hotter those days. Today it should stay under 80 so I think I can make the ride without getting too exhausted.

I also have a short-term list...but more about that tomorrow. 


Ok, now it’s time to get back to work. Get to work. Something like that. 

Grateful for: good biking weather.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Daily pages

I keep thinking about the blog. Most of the people I started with--the people I met through blogging--stopped long ago. Or they changed their blogs and I didn't keep up. Or they are once-a-year posters similar to me. I read something recently about how as a writer it's a good practice to write three pages a day, first thing, no judgment, no purpose, just words on a page. I tried once. I don't know what I need or what my aim is. Then today I thought, the blog is my "three pages." It's where I go to put things down and sort things out. It changed over the years as more people, including friends, started reading. I had to tailor things a bit. I had to abridge and elide. I don't think that's the reason I stopped writing at all. A lot of things changed that made it harder. I know I slowed down before Paris, but I did keep up a pretty regular blog there, which is good. 

 When I got home, I was adjusting, finding my way back to my routine. Then when I really got settled, work got busy and hard. I still don't think there was on incident that marked the end of regular blogging. I would like to make this my space for just clearing my head again. I know I'm kind of going in circles--still wondering what I should do with my life, still wishing I had a steady relationship. I don't know why these things are never resolved for me. I've been told now by two different dudes that finding a partner happens when you stop trying. Well, if I haven't stopped, it's pretty damn close. But how do I stop *wanting* it, which is really what they mean. I don't feel desperate and i think if I were, I could've had a boyfriend by now. I have rejected many men who wanted something more than a merely casual relationship. I am picky and always have been. Does being extremely picky mean I relinquish my right to complain? I know it's tiresome and basically never-ending so I think that I will try and stop. It does me no good and it's seriously boring. I will renew this blog with the hope of getting back to a more grateful place.

I do find my life pretty routine these days. It's not boring and it's not exciting. Everything is very even. Somethings are hard--like my dad. But most things just...are. This actually seems not so great but it could be so much worse. I just came back from a few days in NJ. Visiting B1 because my oldest nephew (from Israel) was there with his wife and four kids. I took them all around for two days totally on my own. Completely exhausting. On Saturday, I took myself to Manhattan and walked ten miles. Then on Sunday B1 and I took them all back to Manhattan and walked another 6+ miles. I got home on Monday and I've been completely exhausted and barely able to work ever since. I did get a little done; just enough to keep things moving. I'm so tired to day but managed to drag myself to the farmer's market and sit here in my coffee shop for an hour. Then I'll drag myself home and station myself on the couch for the rest of the day. 

Grateful for: knowing how good I have it.

Friday, May 26, 2017

On topic

I don't even know where to start. Life keeps rolling along. How do I slow things down? When do I figure out what I really want to do with myself? When will I get what I want? Ha. Ha. Ha.

Yesterday, I had a kind of a break up. A fellow, John, who I've been seeing off and on for over a year cancelled our plans and then told me it was all my fault for asking too many times when we were supposed to meet. The crazy thing is he told me I'd be much happier in a steady relationship--that I should go and pursue that and then maybe we could hang out platonically. (Turns out he was thinking about getting back with his ex--who is the mother of his child--but way to bury the lede dude.)

I was pissed, as you might imagine, but what was bizarre in all that were the not so deeply buried compliments. He seemed absolutely sure that if I "changed my mindset" I'd find a man. Also, that he liked me enough to remain friends. I'm not even sure which of those sentiments I find more far-fetched. I got pretty upset at the idea that my lack of a steady relationship is the result of a "self-fulfilling prophesy." We tussled about that over text for hours, which is insane because we rarely spent that much time in conversation over our entire whatever-ship.

Am I exuding a hostility so toxic that it explains why I don't have a boyfriend? I feel...pretty open and relatively optimistic most of the time. It seemed pretty harsh on his part to insist that I was taking things too hard and shouldn't be feeling so much right in the middle of our break-up. But really, he never once said it was something inherent about me or my physical attractiveness that he was rejecting. That he'd even float being friends (even if I don't believe it will happen) says he likes me as a person. I knew we were never going to develop into a "thing" and that part is fine. But did he actually like me a little more than I realized? I dunno.

I do know that over the last many years, whenever I have met a guy who seemed open to something more "serious" either something went terribly wrong (remember the dude who ended up in the hospital?) or I ended up rejecting him.

I do feel cursed and sometimes unlovable. I have grown to doubt that I will "end up" with someone and that makes me sad when I think about it. I don't think about it all the time everyday, of course, but it was weighing rather heavily on my mind last night. Today, I texted John to point out he never apologized for breaking our plans. He promptly did and we've had a sort of jokey back and forth all day, where he again pointed out that he was confident I could accomplish my "opposite sex related goals." Where do I find these guys?

Grateful for: the confidence of others.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ups and downs

I just published February's post today. Better late than never? I backdated it (nice feature) so in the story of my life that this blog represents, it will be in order.

The last few weeks and days have been mildly eventful. My birthday was meeting friends at a bar. It was a small group but I had a really good time. I went dancing after and drank a bit too much. Seemed about right.

My new bookshelves arrived and I had managed to sort all the books in time. I moved things around in the bedroom too and opened up the space a little. The books that are going are still boxed and waiting, but I don't feel bad about them. I have quite a lot of other paper I want to tackle...eventually, but the main living areas are super cozy right now. All my additions--including a new huge TV--seem to be working out. I had a friend over for dinner and it was really kind of perfect. Maybe I will have people over more often? Anything is possible.

I met a guy a week ago who seemed fantastic and I went into a full-on swoon over him. On our second date, last night, it's like I was with a different person. But I was the different person. I'm not entirely sure what happened. I managed to crush myself with a ton of false hope. But, I'll recover. I always do.

Right now, this minute, I'm sitting the brand spanking new Whole Foods that is less than a block from my house (if you leave by the back door). It's astonishing. The have some wonderful prepared food--I just ate a bowl of ramen--which I liked!--and drank a glass of wine at the little cafe. This is my view:


Grateful for: new people and new places. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

February

Another month, another post! I’m rolling along with not too much drama. I am starting to amp up my activism. I’ve been to two anti-immigration ban protests (last Sunday and yesterday). I’m going to an organizing meeting today and I’ve signed up for two more. Three different social justice groups with slightly different focuses. My plan is to pick one and stick with it. My other plan is to sort out my donation priorities and start writing checks/start monthly payments in the next few days. It’s been a long time since I did much serious activist work and I’m dreading all the meetings. Give me something to DO and I’ll do it. Sitting around talking for hours isn’t something I have a lot of patience for. I consider these first three meetings a test. All three groups are well-established so it shouldn’t be too much yakking about purpose or cause…but we’ll see. Maybe I will just stick to marching around and donating. We all do what we can.

On the personal front, my friendship with (friend) Dan still seems solid. We’re back to normal amounts of texting. Yesterday, we met up at the demonstration and had lunch after. It wasn’t awkward at all.

And, this fellow I was seeing last year, simultaneously with Marty, has reappeared. I don’t know if I mentioned him. Things ended poorly. I was very annoyed with him and he wasn’t delighted with me either. Yet, it’s not like things were terrible or anything, and in a lot of ways we were getting closer. In retrospect, a lot of what was wrong had to do with Marty, who even though he said he was fine with me seeing other people, really wasn’t. Like, not at all. Like, Marty was crazy jealous. Now that things are really, really over with Marty, I can try again with Ken (sure why not Ken?) and see how it goes. We got together this week and it went pretty well. I was a lot more relaxed with him and he was super chatty. I was surprised because he didn’t talk much at all the other times we were together. Again, he’s probably not got boyfriend potential, but I do like him, we have fun, and he really won’t be jealous if I see someone else. Not that I have any plans to do that…but if I meet someone who might be a more likely boyfriend, then I can date him too. And if I don’t, well, hello Ken!

What else? I think have completed my furniture kick for now. I got an estimate for built-in bookcases and I wasn’t impressed with the plan. However, that made the price for some high-end ready-made shelves seem very reasonable. I ordered them and they’ll come next week. The hard part is going to be sorting out all my current book collection, including the many, many that are stored in my bedroom, and getting rid of a lot of them. Pain is coming. I keep thinking I should nibble at this task, but I don’t do that well. I need to devote a full day to it next weekend. Pain. Then soon, I need to do the same thing for my wardrobe! One step at a time.

Grateful for: moving forward.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Home

I’ve been working hard and I’m pretty satisfied with how the job is going. I need to find more opportunities for the company, part of the problem with the private sector, but the work itself I’m mostly enjoying. Or not enjoying because it’s a challenge—and that’s good too!

I got a bunch of new living room furniture in December and I love it. New couch, rug and coffee table. Sold the mid-century set I had and kept the old IKEA sofa. Good decision. Next step is some new bookcases for the dining area, where I currently keep most of my books. I got an estimate from a carpenter but I didn’t love his design—and it was something like a thousand dollars more than I was expecting. So that decision is back on hold, but I would like to do do something about it soon.

I booted someone from my knitting group who was a problem. She was driving people away because every conversation had to revolve around her. I felt bad—I feel bad—but I know it was the right decision for the group.

No real dating to speak of. My new friend (he's "Dan" from the July post), a guy I’ve been hanging out with for maybe a year, sort of made a pass at me on New Year’s Eve. We didn’t go out together, but he was out in my ‘hood and came over when I got home. I really like him and value him as a friend. He’s way younger than me (19 years!) and has a variety of mental health issues that make him seem like not a great boyfriend candidate. Maybe this is a mistake on my part? Maybe he was drunk and that “pass” (which was a cuddle on the couch) didn’t mean anything. I put an end to it and he apologized a lot (during and after). We haven’t spoken of it since or seen each other, though he’s still texting me all the time. We have a mostly a text-based friendship, though we see each other probably once a month. He texts me or FB messages many times a week and usually at least once a day. He typically initiates but I almost always respond in a timely fashion. I like having a friend but it’s kind of one-sided. When I come to him with problems, even mild ones, he listens but is mostly perplexed. So, I dunno. Most of the talks are about current events, movies, or some-such. Occasionally about his personal life and work issues. Anyway, that’s happening.

I hung out with Pele and her now 6-year-old daughter on Saturday. We had lunch then played with Legos a her house for a few hours. It’s been a long time since we had that kind of hang and I wish we did it more often. I’ll have to take more initiative instead of waiting to be asked. Sure, a lot of what they do is “family time” but I’m sure I could jump on that train once in a while.

I did way more traveling than I wanted to do in December and January. Dad really wanted me to come down to LA, where he was going to be. My eldest brother (B1) goes there every Christmas to be with his wife’s family (one of her siblings lives there). So, I went for four days. I drove dad and stepmom around and I walked the dog living where we were house sitting. I crashed this whole distant family’s Christmas—and it was fine. B1 was fine with me being there. His wife and her family are good people who I’ve met before and they were friendly and welcoming—in the sense of treating me like a regular family member who didn’t need any special treatment. Dad’s memory is terrible—he was finally officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He still knows who I am, so I’m grateful for that. He didn’t remember how old I was and alternated between asking me about my retirement plans and if I was going to lose my job (due to the new administration). According to my stepmother, I’m more patient than she is. I did ok. I didn’t get angry at him and only once said, “I’m only 47!” Still, I miss him. I am glad he’s still there in many ways that makes him recognizable but even before the diagnosis, I knew we were losing him. I accept it. I accept him as he is now. I miss who he was.

And then, last weekend, I went up to NY/NJ because one of my Israeli nieces was visiting. I did a lot of auntly duty—taking her shopping (she paid for her own stuff) and buying her coffee and lunch, and doing all the navigating. I didn’t enjoy myself, I don’t feel closer to her, but I did what I needed to do, which was help take care of her. She is in a fight with her parents and siblings and has cut everyone off. I’m not ok with this and think she is in the wrong, but I don’t want to shut her out. It’s terrible.

Any surprise that when I came home I was barely functional? I did manage to finally finish a project that has been my albatross for months—so this long weekend I’m not doing any work at all. When I get home (at coffee shop now) I will do some laundry, watch a movie, and finish knitting another  what I like to call a “protest hat.” I’ll be marching around the day after the inauguration.

I’m not sure what to do about the blog. I can’t let it go. I want to try and post once a month at least. I’ll try.

Grateful for: family.

PS Marty from the July post is now history. He was too difficult and he started to make me unhappy all the time. Another good decision.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Feeling better.

I know it's been for-ev-er. I've been itching to write but it's harder for me to find time. What else do I do instead? A lot of Facebook interactions, for one. A lot of work. Some bike riding and outdoor activities. And a lot of just watching TV and knitting. Boring. I wonder if I should try and blog on the train to work? Hrm. Anyway.

I was home, in Seattle, for about a week a week or so ago. My mom had major surgery for cancer. Luckily, she is cancer-free and doesn't need any follow-up radiation or chemo. Her recovery is going well but it's good I went out because she needed help. Not that it was easy to actually help her, but perhaps it's best not to dwell on all the ways it was difficult.

Instead, let's dwell on all the ways dating is difficult. I recently went out with a guy who I first met online about six years ago. We had a couple of dates and then I dismissed him. He was decent but pretentious and apt to explain a lot of stuff, including stuff I knew more about than he did. He got in touch with me again in January. We had two more dates, and then I gave up on him again. He was still moderately attractive and very annoying. And then, two weeks ago, he emailed me again. He'd heard me on a podcast where I had a guest appearance. We had another first date that went ok. Then a second date yesterday, that ended with a plea from me for him to stop explaining really obvious things to me. He was super frustrated with that, and while he said I wasn't wrong, he also said, "you're like a bulldog--you just won't let it go!" And he's right, I won't. I don't think I can get used to it or laugh at it, especially since we couldn't seem to progress from talking about work and career stuff to anything more intimate. I tried with him again because he's a decent human and interested in a real relationship, but we just aren't suited.

I have another story to tell, but I'm going to put it in another post! Stay tuned.

Grateful for: Mom's good health.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Pause

Sorry I haven't updated after that last entry. I recovered from my trip. I'm feeling ok. I've been to Seattle and California since and seen my mom and dad. Mom is fine, but mercurial as always. Dad is about the same, though possibly slipping ever so slightly. He and his wife are in their old folks building now and it's pretty depressing. It's a nice place and the food is good. They were able to reserve an apartment for me and the privacy was appreciated. Their apartment is very pleasant--two bedrooms, a full (unused) kitchen, and big living room/dining room space. The problem is that it's such a small world. They are right near a park and a lake. The park is ok, not wonderful. The lake is pretty but also pretty small. The building has activities of the old folks variety. I think I'm against this kind of living arrangement. The place is pleasant, the people are nice and friendly, but where are the young people? The middle-aged people? The children? It's also an incredibly white place. The only residents of color were Asian. Most of the staff was latino/a and a few were black. I didn't spot a single black or hispanic resident. My stepmother seems happy. My dad seems resigned. I think the move was a mistake for him but maybe it was good for her.

On the happy side, I am starting to enjoy my job. Several of the projects are interesting. I'm managing, informally, a couple of staff members and I really like that. I am getting along with my direct boss, and that's a good feeling. Work stuff is working out well. I'm also stepping up my social life--or trying to. I've signed up for swing dance lessons again--it's been a long time since I was dancing. Too long. I've also gotten into a pretty good morning exercise routine, started when I visited Seattle. To really make it work, I need to get up a little earlier, but at least I have a good (moral) reason for being late to the office.

Grateful for: liking my job.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hope

I wish I could say everything is fine but it's not. It's just that there's nothing to do about it. My father is entering his second childhood. At least he seems happy rather than angry. I can tell he is frustrated sometimes and confused. He can still function pretty well by himself but I wonder how much longer he'll be able to go for a walk and not get lost. Since there is literally nothing to be done--he has seen doctors and they do what they can--it's upsetting but I move right to acceptance. I'm sad for me and for him...but he's still with us and he's still him so I'm grateful for that. I mean, I can't have the same kinds of conversations we used to but we can have conversations. He still knows me. That's something.

My niece is most definitely in an emotionally abusive relationship. This is more upsetting because we should be able to do something...yet we can't. Her mother is angry, sad, and frustrated. I feel the same--but those words don't really my feelings adequately. Like with my dad, these are feelings I don't know that I've had very often. You want so bad to just make it stop. To pluck her and the kids out of there house and take them away to somewhere safe, but you can't. You can't if she won't allow it. You can't if she has stopped talking to her family. You can't if you live in another country and don't even fully understand her culture and way of life. Really you can't do anything but feel sad and exhausted and ready to cry if you think about it too long.

Yeah, this isn't a fun trip. These trips to Israel never are but this one is something special. It does emphasize to me that I need to start taking a more active role keeping up the family connections. I relied on Dad and his wife to do that. Dad can't anymore and his wife is overwhelmed. So, I have been getting everyone's phone numbers and email. I will start calling more often. I will offer my ear and my love. That is what I can do.

Grateful for: hope.